Love in Idleness, Menier Chocolate Theatre, London. April 2017.
Due to a variety of events I am later reviewing this than normal and it has been nearly two weeks since I saw this, but it doesn't seem to matter too much for as soon as I think of this I smile.
Rattigan's plays have that effect on me it would seem. At first thought they seem light and fluffy but then the depth and emotion grows on you and this play was no exception and I was so involved with this one that I went from crying with laughter to crying with sadness in one breath.
The play itself is a hybrid - Rattigan wrote the serious Less than Kind first but this was not produced and with input/help from the original lead actors is became the comedy Love in Idleness. For this production elements from both plays have been taken so that the comedy has more bite, emotion and politics but is also still incredibly funny. It remains very much a play of its original time however.
I do think that it is the cast that really makes this sing - the timing is impeccable and I utterly believed in the main trio's relationship. They felt like a dysfunctional family unit and the wonderful ending came together brilliantly from this build up.
I've now read both versions of the play and I feel that the hybrid that has been created does appeal to me more than either of the originals - this was feel good theatre and I loved every moment of it, so much so that I am tempted to try and see it again when it transfers to the West End.